(featured image above is from last Thursday, when I also felt like a bad mom.)
Today, I cried.
I cried a lot.
I cried to people including, but not limited to, my mom, two car salesmen at the car dealership and my dietician.
I was feeling so guilty. I felt like such a bad mom.
And then, this evening, I cried to my husband.
“I felt so awful today,” I told him, after we put the kids to bed and sat down for the first time since 8am.
“I spent the morning at home doing all of these things and the kids were playing themselves and they were having fun but I wasn’t playing with them and I did not take them anywhere and I was such a bad mom!”
And I continued,
“Literally, do you know how I spent the entire morning? I found out [our daughter]’s teacher and so I looked up all of the information on her class online and I tried to email other moms to connect her with some of the other kids who will be in her class. I went through his school supply list and ordered everything that I could on Amazon and I spent at least thirty minutes–no exaggeration–trying to figure out which folders to order for her and I ended up not ordering any because I don’t think that any of them were right and so I didn’t get to take her back to school shopping like a real, good mom. But, when I asked her to help me to pick out things online she did not want to. She wanted to play with her brother and so I guess it’s OK that I did this myself. And I emailed her teacher to introduce myself and I emailed the principal to thank him for his help. And so I was on the computer and the phone all morning, trying to take care of everything to get her ready for school and to make sure she has friends and the right Crayola markers. And the kids just played all by themselves.
And then, I spent the next hour trying to find a babysitter for them. I emailed and talked with so many women to try to find someone who can watch them this week and then during the school year and I tried to vet as many people as possible and I posted on Facebook and had conversations and I really want them to be well taken care of, and all this time, they were just alone, playing. I was such a bad mom!”
My husband sat silently. He took a breath. And he looked at me in the eyes and told me to stop.
“Do you realize what you just said?” he asked.
“You spent the entire morning, with no childcare help, trying to take care of things for our kids. You tried to connect with the new teacher and make new friends for our daughter, you ordered her school supplies and you drove yourself crazy trying to find the right babysitter for them. That does not make you a bad mom. That makes you a great mom.“
And just like that, I realized how hard we moms can be on ourselves, and that, if I really think about it, now one step removed from the overwhelming morning, he is totally right.
I spent the entire morning working, networking, advocating, connecting, school shopping, interviewing, agonizing and feeling deeply, all for my children.
So if that makes me a a bad mom, I guess I can be bad in the good way.
I still need to find four freakin’ folders before the first day of school, but I have a feeling that I’ve got this.
Hashtag bad mom. Hashtag motherhood. Hashtag love.